We finally got our tree out yesterday. We cut three branches off our budding forsynthia bush and put them in a vase with the rocks and nickels. I wanted to list some of the ornaments we use (now that I've seen them after a year in a box!).
clip art of:
crown of thorns
bread and wine
swatches of fabric I mentioned in the first post (see Easter Traditions)
a crocheted cross christmas ornament
gold ribbon (Christ's royalty)
a rose (Jesus as the Rose of Sharon)
using string, we made a "scourage" type thing to remember the wounds of Christ
a piece of sponge
Hope that gets your imagination rolling. Comment and let me know if you think of some other ideas for your Easter Tree.
I thought this was a rather accurate portrayl of many pastors'wives. It also didn't make Christians look like idiots, in my opinion. Maybe I should print it off and leave it lying around church...just kidding!
Labels: pastor's wifery
I think it was Rush Limbaugh who coined the phrase "feminazi" back in the '90s...Back then, I just laughed it off and said that a woman can do ANYTHING a man can do (and implied that she could do it better, too).
Since that time, I find myself a married mother of three, pastor's wife and homeschooling mom. And that's the heart of why I named my blog what I did. I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined this life for myself. Most days, I love these roles, but lately there have been more days when I have that evil, little feminazi whispering in my ear, "You're just a maid and a babysitter...you could have made something of yourself! Grad school, top honors in national speech and debate competitions, a well-paying job, a posh apartment. Now look at you! Cleaning the toilet for the fifth time today. Sheesh..."
My husband, who is a very godly and insightful man, hit the nail on the head when I was crying about all this yesterday:
I'm angry at God. I don't trust that His discipline, His humbling of me was just. I think I "deserve better" than all this. That's the root of my discontentment. And my actions and feelings contradict my head knowledge that Romans 8:28 is true: "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose." I may say I believe that, but my actions and thoughts betray me. And God knows it.
So now what do I do?? We were watching John Piper's video, When I Don't Desire God-How to Fight for Joy, on Sunday nights a few weeks ago. And I think the place to start for me is to commit to get on my knees EVERY DAY to pray, and not in a legalistic way and even if I don't FEEL like it. I have to beg Him to change me because I can't change myself by just "doing better". I want to be so enamored with Christ that I can joyfully clean the toilet for the tenth time without grumbling against God.
*sigh* Only in glory will it be easier.
I need encouragement--so I need you to comment. How do you enjoy the journey with small kids, homeschooling, keeping house, keeping the peace? My husband said to me last night before we went to bed that I was never happy about anything. Naturally, I got mad rolled over and went to bed. Nice, huh? How do you keep bitterness from taking root in your heart when things don't go your way?
How's about a 3 ingredient recipe??
1 lb chicken breasts, flattened (they cook faster!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can golden mushroom soup with 1/2 can water
Saute chicken breasts in olive oil until almost cooked through. Add soup and water, stirring smooth. Cover and let simmer until chicken is cooked through all the way.
We have an Advent wreath for Christmas, so I came up with this idea for Easter.
Take three pillar candles and arrange them on a plate. Different heights look nice. On Good Friday, light all the candles at dinner, then at the end of the meal, blow them out and cover them (once cooled, of course) with a square of black cloth. Leave it this way over the weekend.
On Easter morning, before the kids come down for the day, light all the candles and enjoy breakfast (our traditional Easter breakfast is another post) in the light of Jesus' love. He's RISEN!
I'm blessed to have a precious, sweet new baby girl...and even though I've had children before, I think I forgot how cuddly they are when they're new.
I love her soft, silky little head, watching her eyelashes grow, her complexion change to peaches and cream, her funny grunts and squeaks and sighs, the way her little body just curls up on my chest where she'll sleep for hours, her sleepy face with milk running down her chin...
I just love babies. Some famous cartoonist once wrote that babies are such a nice way to start people. My baby girl is living proof!
We just got this hilariously wonderful kids' CD--well, maybe we bought it for ourselves, but we're listening to it right now. I'm planning on telling everyone I know about this funny CD. It's called Slugs, Bugs, and Lullabies. Thanks Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame!
One of the perks of being a pastor's family is that most days we get to lunch together since he's just next door working. Our 7 year old has started making lunch for us, namely Annie's Organic Macaroni and Cheese (YUM).
Today at the table, I told him that someday he can teach his son to make mac and cheese.
Dad piped up and commented, "You should probably make sure your wife can make macaroni and cheese first!"
To which the firstborn replied, "I'll ask: 'Are you a godly woman and can you make macaroni and cheese?'"
OK. I've got way too much weight from this last baby. Sure, she's beautiful and worth the extra twenty pounds...but I've never been this big in all my life. The hubby's been running and bought Galloway's Book of Running, which is suppose to be the definitive guide to running. He says you've got to get to the point where you can run for 30 minutes with no problem. I can do that, but I have to admit, I'm afraid if I run----well, that it will HURT. And I don't like pain. But I do like to be thin...OK. I'd better get my sorry self up to the Rec Center before they close. Wish me luck, girls.
Andrew Peterson is one of my favorite musicians. He has a way of writing what I've been thinking, only so much better. We've been listennig to his music for about 8 or 9 years now, and each album is just as good i(f not better than the last). I was on his website today and read a journal entry from January 20, 2007 and wanted to post the link here. If you're a parent, I think you'll choke back a few tears..
We made some of these a few years ago because we didn't care for the ones you can buy (and I knew I could make a set for each kid in my Sunday School class for the price of one set from Family Life). I'll just give you the link to the website I used to make them.
These are cookies that you make the night before Easter. Each step represents a different part of the Easter story. I think these are so cool.
Here's what you need:
1 c whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
1 c sugar
zip lock baggie
mixer with mixing bowl
Preheat oven to 300.
Place pecans in baggie and let kids beat them with the rolling pin. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3
Let each kid smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp vinegar into a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life, taking God's wrath upon Himself for our sins, to give us new life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each kid's hand. Let them taste it, then brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears of Jesus' followers ad the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
So far, the ingredients aren't very appetizing. Add 1 c sugar. Explain the sweetest part of the story: Jesus died and took the punishment for our sins because He loves us. He wants us to repent of our sin and have faith in Him. Psalm 34:8.
Beat with the mixer on high for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks form. Explain the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of our Lord Jesus Christ as well as the purity of those whose sins have been forgiven. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:13.
Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Matthew 27:56-66.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each kid a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20-22.
Go to bed!
On Easter morning, open the oven door and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bit. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty! Jesus had risen!
Every day I check the news websites to see what's going on in the world. We don't have any network tv or cable or anything so I feel like I can stay up to date with the internet. I've always enjoyed keeping current. But lately, when I've clicked on news homepages, especially fox news', it seems like all they are covering are horrific abuses against children all over the country: murders, abductions, exploitation on the internet, etc. It's enough to make me more paranoid than I already am and never let my kids out of my sight!
So I've decided to go on a news fast for a while. I remember feeling this way last year when someone got us a gift subscription to Newsweek. There were some weeks I put it right from the mailbox to the trash can as I walked past it.
I'll still pick up my World magazine, but there's no reason for me to read about all the terrible events as they happen on the internet. It's not about burying my head in the sand--I spent enough time working in social services to know that evil is out there alive and well. I think I'm overly sensitive to things and reading about the latest child snatched is enough to keep me up at night. Instead, I'm going to think on things that are pure, praiseworthy and of good repute. All for my own mental health!
Labels: Current Events
As I mentioned a while ago, I wanted to share one of our favorite Easter traditions with you: The Easter Tree. Here's what you need:
3 or 4 long branches
1 quart size mason jar
1 handful of rocks
small strips of fabric in the following colors:
red (for Christ's blood shed for us)
black (for his death)
white (for his purity)
purple (for his royalty and for the clothes they gambled for at his feet)
small plastic grapes
a small piece of sponge
clip art you've printed in color of things such as these, then mounted onto small pieces of lightweight cardboard:
bread and wine
a rooster and anything else you think might represent parts of the Easter story
Fill the jar with rocks and the 30 pieces of silver. Arrange the branches in the jar, held in place by the rocks. Using the thread, tie on everything else, discussing what each means in the story.
This is not an absolutely original idea, but we've made our tree our own using these kinds of things.
Hope this sparks your imagination!
I've been feeling like a complete failure as a godly woman. I've read all the "right" books about what it means to glorify God as a wife and mother and feel like I always come up short. I lose my temper, get grumpy about cleaning the house, feel jealous of my husband's role, feel trapped in my house. I feel all the things that feminists scream at us about how oppressed women are, but I know that this is not what God wants for me. I know what they say is not biblical. I'm a good Reformed-type Baptist girl and I truly believe it's the devil whispering in my ear constantly all day long, making me discontent and feeding my flesh its worldly desires to grumble and complain against God and my family.
I was actually able to open my Bible this morning and I read in Titus 1:16
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.
I felt the Holy Spirit's hand heavy upon me as I read this, as the deeds of my heart can be so wicked and ungrateful, then I went further into the book and read:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
It is only by God's grace that I can love like He has loved me. It is only by God's grace that I can deny the ungodliness and worldly desires that so often seem to consume me. And while "this present age" for Paul was quite different than this present age now, I think the fundamental problems are the same. It's no surprise then, that at the beginning of chapter two of Titus the older women are to encourage the younger women to love their husbands and children--that implies that sometimes it's tough! Not because our husbands and children are difficult, but because my sinful heart is so selfish that I rebel against wanting to pour myself out for them like Jesus did.
As the family comes in the door, I hope I can practice what I've been reading...
Labels: growing in my faith
Right now, in my backyard, my seven year old and my four year old are wrapping each other up in a plastic jump rope and watching each other fall down and laughing hysterically. Is this a boy thing I'm not aware of? Maybe because I have no siblings, I just don't get this? Who knows? At least it's warm enough for them to play outside a little, and, as my mom says, "Run a little stink off"!
We LOVE Daddy's day off. Today dear sweet Daddy let me sleep until 10 o'clock, since I'm up quite a bit at night with our little darling baby. He's also going to put the new crib together for me (we've been using a pack and play!) and take the boys to the library. It might be nice enough to go to the park, too, if it isn't too soggy outside from all the snow melting. It's so true that a family needs a mommy AND a daddy...I know ours does!
Labels: Day by Day
After a few difficult days with a certain firstborn around here, when my frustration level was through the roof and I was questioning the wisdom of having any children at all...my middle child reminded me that 'Jesus loves brother'. If only I could remember that in the heat of the moment when my fuse is about to run out...have you ever had a particularly difficult little personality to manage each day??
This has been tough for me recently, even before my 3rd baby came. I know that as the pastor's wife I'm suppose to have this part of my life "together", but I feel so distracted by chores, the kids, the computer...I don't want to be legalistic about it all--I know that my standing before God is not dependent on if I read my Bible or not, but on my faith in the living Christ who bore the punishment for my sin...any ideas? Any great devotional materials that have helped you??
Labels: growing in my faith
We love bunnies and candy and baby chicks...but we also love to make Easter more than that around our house. For the past few years we've tried hard to incorporate the Gospel into every aspect of our Easter celebration, especially during the season leading up to Easter Sunday. Sure, we have Easter baskets and sometimes a hunt in our yard that day, but we try to emphasize why we celebrate.. So I'll be posting some of our unique celebration ideas in the coming weeks with the hope that you, too, can use these to magnify Christ in your family.
Some of my inspiration has come from Noel Piper's outstanding book Treasuring God in Our Traditions, so I can't take all the credit. If you haven't read this book, I'd encourage you to. She has chapters on celebrating birthdays, Christmas, and Easter and makes the case that our children will remember our family traditions so we must use them to glorify God and point our kids to Him. Though not necessarily an Easter tradition, I will say one of my favorite ideas from her book is to give each child a special hymn that you sing to him or her each night at bedtime. Our oldest one loves There is a Fountain. Our second child requests And Can It Be (just about every night of his entire life he's asked for it!). I've decided our new baby girl, Grace, will hear Grace Greater Than All Our Sin. I don't want the next generation to lose the value of these rich, old songs.
So, check back here periodically to help get your own creative juices flowing as we approach Resurrection day!
The meals are all done from the wonderful church ladies...mom and dad are gone so no more laundry service/trash service/baby holding service...now it's just ME and the kids!!! Yikes! I'm trying to get back into homeschooling, too, and fighting right now with my 7 1/2 year old to write something creative, something that's ONLY 4 or more sentences long. I'm still not sleeping much and feel like all I do some nights is nurse, change diapers, burp (the baby, not myself!) and do it all over again! I know it's just for a season, but when you're in the thick of it, it feels like it will last forever.
Labels: Day by Day